Simon is not an ordinary young man. His seemingly innocuous job, as a high-school biology teacher, is an odd a cover for his strange existence as a serial killer. The women he murders are intent on suicide; he just gives them the option of dying quickly and painlessly - by exsanguinating them, and then drinking their blood. While this might sound like the outline of a horror film, director Iwai Shunji’s remarkable film Vampire is in truth a quiet, dark, and intense drama, a strange take on the vampire myth, and an oddly compelling love story.
Even with the invention and proliferation of television, radio remains a relevant and fascinating medium. There are some excellent films about the power of the DJ voice, from Talk Radio to Pump Up the Volume to The Fisher King. Something about the disembodied voice allows the listener to imagine any person they choose as the owner of that voice, and twist the words to their own ideals. Sang Man Kim’s new thriller Midnight F.M. can easily be added not only to the radio film canon, but also to the slate of great thrillers being produced in recent years in South Korea.
There is a particular subgenre of kitschy horror film that comes out of countries like Spain and Italy. Usually something to do with some dark legend, a dark devil, and a group of hot young people who get caught up in the madness. Spanish director José Luis Alemán continues with his Valdemar series in La Sombra Prohibida, based on H.P. Lovecraft's work. You have the ingredients for a cult Spanish horror film, but unfortunately the film doesn’t entirely work out.